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Ozone pollution affects 85% of the Spanish population

In terms of territory, the pollutant has affected 455,000 square kilometres, 90% of the territory.


The state report on ozone prepared by Ecologistas en Acci贸n evaluates the data collected at 480 official measuring stations throughout Spain, between January 1 and September 30, 2019. Ozone pollution is a major health problem. Let’s go with some of the main conclusions of the study.

According to the report on ozone carried out by Ecologistas en Acci贸n, tropospheric ozone is the atmospheric pollutant that affects the largest population and territory in Spain.

Ozone is a very complex pollutant, which does not have a direct human source but is formed on the earth’s surface in the presence of solar radiation by the combination of other pollutants called precursors, emitted by transport (especially diesel vehicles), thermoelectric plants, certain industrial activities or intensive livestock. It is therefore a secondary pollutant that during the summer mainly affects suburban and rural areas influenced by urban and industrial pollution.

Although air quality improvement plans to prevent ozone pollution are mandatory, 10 autonomous communities have yet to develop them. These are Andaluc铆a, Arag贸n, Illes Balears, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y Le贸n, Catalu帽a, Pa铆s Valenciano, Madrid, Navarra and Pa铆s Vasco.

Ozone pollution data

Taking as a reference the value recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), Ecologistas en Acci贸n has reported that the air polluted by ozone has affected 39.8 million people in Spain in 2019, representing 85% of its population. In terms of territory, the pollutant has affected 455,000 square kilometers, 90% of the territory. These data mean that six out of seven Spaniards breathed in 2019 an air with more ozone than recommended by the WHO, a figure that exceeds the legal standard of European and Spanish legislation, located at 9.8 million people.

By regions, the report indicates that the regions most affected by tropospheric ozone have been the Community of Madrid and Catalonia.

Ecologists in Action points out that ozone pollution is a health problem of the first order, and should be addressed as such, since according to the European Environment Agency, is responsible for the death of between 1,500 and 1,800 deaths in Spain.

As for the health and labour costs of ozone pollution, in 2013 its figures exceeded 5,000 million euros, keeping aside the damage caused to crops and natural ecosystems.

Finally, it is urgently noted that although plans to improve air quality to prevent ozone pollution are mandatory, there are 10 autonomous communities that still do not develop them. These are Andalusia, Aragon, Balearic Islands, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y Le贸n, Catalonia, Valencia, Madrid, Navarre and the Basque Country.


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